Learn what it means to “do theology” and how scholars and students integrate it into Bible study. This course introduces students to why systematic theology is important and what “doing theology” means. Drs. Ronn Johnson, Carl Sanders, and Mike Heiser challenge students to think about the roles of divine revelation, the Bible, Christian tradition, logic, and philosophy in articulating doctrine. Examine major topics, essential ideas, doctrinal issues and disagreements, and more.
Unit 1: Prolegomena: What Is Theology?
- The Starting Point of Theology
- Types of Theology and Their Starting Points
- What Is Evangelical Theology?
- Looking Up Theological Terms in Logos
- The Sources and Resources of Theology
- Quiz – Unit 1
Unit 2: Why Theology? The Tasks and Limits of Theology
- Why Theology?
- The Importance of Theology
- The Tasks and Limitations of Theology
- Objections to Theology
- Quiz – Unit 2
Unit 3: Tradition and Theology
- Tradition Under Suspicion
- Three Approaches to Tradition
- Why Should We Value Tradition?
- Creating a Collection for Creeds and Catechisms
- Quiz – Unit 3
Unit 4: Theological Method: Introductory Suggestions
- Doing Theology: The Simple Way
- Using a Passage List to Study a Topic or Theme
- Millard Erickson’s Theological Method
- How to Do Theology
- Using Logos Documents and Favorites to Organize Research
- How to Organize a System
- Theological Language
- Quiz – Unit 4
Unit 5: Biblical and Systematic Theology
- Introduction and History
- Biblical Theology Defined
- Systematic Theology Defined
- Biblical or Systematic Theology? An Example
- Quiz – Unit 5
Unit 6: Spiritual Preparation
- The Intellectual Virtues and Theology
- Preparation: Intellectual Virtue
- Virtue Epistemology
- Quiz – Unit 6
Unit 7: Postmodernism and Theology
- The Rise of Postmodernism
- Responding to Radical Postmodernism
- Quiz – Unit 7
- Midterm Exam
Unit 8: The Doctrine of Revelation
- Introduction to the Doctrine of Revelation
- How Has God Spoken? Part 1
- How Has God Spoken? Part 2
- Is Revelation Moral?
- What Are Our Challenges?
- How Is the Bible Revelation?
- Quiz – Unit 8
Unit 9: The Doctrine of Inspiration
- Three Areas of Discussion
- Inspiration: Misconceptions
- Phenomena of the Text: Historical Record
- Phenomena of the Text: Editing
- Phenomena of the Text: Author’s Agendas/Memory
- Finding Different Gospel Harmonies
- Phenomena of the Text: Sources
- Phenomena of the Text: Borrowed Material
- Phenomena of the Text: Changing Content
- Phenomena of the Text: Cultural Markers
- Searching for Passages and Topics
- Phenomena of the Text: Literary Structures
- Highlighting Old Testament Genres with AFAT
- Phenomena of the Text: Incomplete Content
- Phenomena of the Text: Ancient Content
- Understanding Original Language Words with Logos Guides and Tools
- Phenomena of the Text: Offensive Content
- Biblical Data for Inspiration
- Using a Collection of Systematic Theologies to Define Inspiration
- Applying the Data: Historical Record
- Applying the Data: Editing
- Applying the Data: Author’s Agendas/Memory
- Applying the Data: Sources
- Applying the Data: Borrowed Material
- Applying the Data: Changing Content
- Applying the Data: Cultural Markers
- Applying the Data: Literary Structures
- Applying the Data: Incomplete Content
- Applying the Data: Ancient Content
- Applying the Data: Offensive Content
- Summary of the Doctrine of Inspiration
- Quiz – Unit 9
Unit 10: Doctrine of the Bible: Inerrancy
- Assumptions and Definitions
- Researching Nonbiblical Topics in Logos
- Difficulty of Definition
- Four Important Areas to Understand
- Transmission and Translation
- Quiz – Unit 10
Unit 11: Doctrine of the Bible: Canon and Canonicity
- Terminology and Orientation
- Old Testament Canon
- New Testament Canon
- Concluding Thoughts on Canon
- Quiz – Unit 11
- Final Exam
Dr. Carl Sanders is an associate professor of theology at Lancaster Bible College’s Capital Bible Seminary. He has taught at college and seminary levels since 1999 at several schools: Bethel University (St. Paul, Minnesota), Northwestern College (St. Paul, Minnesota), and Washington Bible College in Washington, DC, where he also served as chair of the Bible and theology department (2003–2012).
Dr. Sanders is well liked by his students for his down-to-earth presentation of Bible doctrine. Students quickly learn that he enjoys talking about theology and has a quick wit. Among his strengths as a lecturer are his ability to distill information to essential elements, as well as his good-natured way of fairly explaining differences in theological positions. Dr. Sanders has a keen interest in urban ministry and has served for many years in racially diverse urban congregations. His interest in local-church experience helps him practice theology in ways that reflect the diversity present in the body of Christ. He strives to make theology interesting and practical.
Dr. Ronn Johnson, lecturer in biblical studies at the University of Northwestern St. Paul, Minnesota, has been the senior pastor at his church, Coon Rapids Evangelical Free, since 2006. He previously taught in the Bible departments at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College (1991–1994) and The Master’s College (1994–1996).
Dr. Johnson is well known by his students for demanding that they think about what they believe instead of being passive listeners. His approach is the opposite of proof-texting—simply quoting Bible verses without consideration of what they might mean in context. His goal is to drive home the point that the Bible is more than a collection of verses to be memorized and thrown into play—it’s a message from God that had a clear, coherent purpose that we need to hear without imposing our own traditions on the text. That approach of loyalty to the Bible above all else comes through in his Mobile Ed sessions on Bible doctrine.
He and his wife, Susan, have three teenage children. His pastimes include reading and giving too much attention to Kirby, the family dog.
Dr. Michael S. Heiser is a Scholar-in-Residence for Faithlife Corporation, the makers of Logos Bible Software. His varied academic background enables him to operate in the realm of critical scholarship and the wider Christian community. His experience in teaching at the undergraduate level and writing for the layperson both directly contribute to Logos’ goal of adapting scholarly tools for nonspecialists.
Dr. Heiser earned his PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages and holds and MA in ancient history and Hebrew studies. He is the coeditor of Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology and Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations, and can do translation work in roughly a dozen ancient languages, including Biblical Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Ugaritic cuneiform. He also specializes in Israelite religion (especially Israel’s divine council), contextualizing biblical theology with Israelite and ancient Near Eastern religion, Jewish binitarianism, biblical languages, ancient Semitic languages, textual criticism, comparative philology, and Second Temple period Jewish literature. In addition, he was named the 2007 Pacific Northwest Regional Scholar by the Society of Biblical Literature.